Friday, 31 August 2007

Friday Night Fights: In the Reign of Queen Rena

When seeking brutal violence to assuage the cruel heart of Bahlactus, Jaime Hernandez’s Locas, that insightful series about young punks from the barrio growing into unfulfilled middle age, may not be the first place you’d look.

But Jaime Hernandez can draw anything with clarity, verve and life. And in the early days, anything was just what he did draw – spaceships, dinosaurs, superheroes, horn-headed billionaires … and a women’s wrestling champion getting embroiled in a murder in a fictitious South American country, and running into an old and brutal rival from the ring.

Ladies, gentlemen and Devourers of Worlds, we present Queen Rena Titañon versus Bull Marie!

I love the framing of the two tiers that show the actual fight: the regular panel grid, and unwavering but not all-encompassing point of view give the action a steady rythmn but also a slightly chaotic vitality (are we going to lose sight of Rena entirely?) that complements the power that Hernandez's draughtsmanship puts into each blow; and then the wide, static panel opening the final tier is an exhilation of relief and triumph.

“Toyo’s Request” by Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets issue 3, Fantagraphics, Fall 1983

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